Investigation of the correlation patterns and the Compton dominance variability of Mrk 421 in 2017

MAGIC Collaboration; Acciari, V. A.; Ansoldi, S.; Antonelli, L. A.; Arbet Engels, A.; Artero, M.; Asano, K.; Babić, A.; Baquero, A.; Barres de Almeida, U.; Barrio, J. A.; Batković, I.; Becerra González, J.; Bednarek, W.; Bellizzi, L.; Bernardini, E.; Bernardos, M.; Berti, A.; Besenrieder, J.; Bhattacharyya, W.; Bigongiari, C.; Blanch, O.; Bošnjak, Ž.; Busetto, G.; Carosi, R.; Ceribella, G.; Cerruti, M.; Chai, Y.; Chilingarian, A.; Cikota, S.; Colak, S. M.; Colombo, E.; Contreras, J. L.; Cortina, J.; Covino, S.; D'Amico, G.; D'Elia, V.; da Vela, P.; Dazzi, F.; de Angelis, A.; de Lotto, B.; Delfino, M.; Delgado, J.; Delgado Mendez, C.; Depaoli, D.; di Pierro, F.; di Venere, L.; Do Souto Espiñeira, E.; Dominis Prester, D.; Donini, A.; Doro, M.; Fallah Ramazani, V.; Fattorini, A.; Ferrara, G.; Fonseca, M. V.; Font, L.; Fruck, C.; Fukami, S.; García López, R. J.; Garczarczyk, M.; Gasparyan, S.; Gaug, M.; Giglietto, N.; Giordano, F.; Gliwny, P.; Godinović, N.; Green, J. G.; Green, D.; Hadasch, D.; Hahn, A.; Heckmann, L.; Herrera, J.; Hoang, J.; Hrupec, D.; Hütten, M.; Inada, T.; Inoue, S.; Ishio, K.; Iwamura, Y.; Jiménez, I.; Jormanainen, J.; Jouvin, L.; Kajiwara, Y.; Karjalainen, M.; Kerszberg, D.; Kobayashi, Y.; Kubo, H.; Kushida, J.; Lamastra, A.; Lelas, D.; Leone, F.; Lindfors, E.; Lombardi, S.; Longo, F.; López-Coto, R.; López-Moya, M.; López-Oramas, A.; Loporchio, S.; Machado de Oliveira Fraga, B.; Maggio, C. et al.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Aims: We present a detailed characterisation and theoretical interpretation of the broadband emission of the paradigmatic TeV blazar Mrk 421, with a special focus on the multi-band flux correlations.
Methods: The dataset has been collected through an extensive multi-wavelength campaign organised between 2016 December and 2017 June. The instruments involved are MAGIC, FACT, Fermi-LAT, Swift, GASP-WEBT, OVRO, Medicina, and Metsähovi. Additionally, four deep exposures (several hours long) with simultaneous MAGIC and NuSTAR observations allowed a precise measurement of the falling segments of the two spectral components.
Results: The very-high-energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) gamma rays and X-rays are positively correlated at zero time lag, but the strength and characteristics of the correlation change substantially across the various energy bands probed. The VHE versus X-ray fluxes follow different patterns, partly due to substantial changes in the Compton dominance for a few days without a simultaneous increase in the X-ray flux (i.e., orphan gamma-ray activity). Studying the broadband spectral energy distribution (SED) during the days including NuSTAR observations, we show that these changes can be explained within a one-zone leptonic model with a blob that increases its size over time. The peak frequency of the synchrotron bump varies by two orders of magnitude throughout the campaign. Our multi-band correlation study also hints at an anti-correlation between UV-optical and X-ray at a significance higher than 3σ. A VHE flare observed on MJD 57788 (2017 February 4) shows gamma-ray variability on multi-hour timescales, with a factor ten increase in the TeV flux but only a moderate increase in the keV flux. The related broadband SED is better described by a two-zone leptonic scenario rather than by a one-zone scenario. We find that the flare can be produced by the appearance of a compact second blob populated by high energetic electrons spanning a narrow range of Lorentz factors, from γ'min=2×104 to γ'max=6×105.

Light curves and spectral energy distributions data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via
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